The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a pretty balanced selection of young players and veterans, many of whom are also actually good. Which is why the Bucs have two players appearing on Pro Football Focus’ list of under-25 players.
Those players are wide receiver Mike Evans and center/guard Ali Marpet, while quarterback Jameis Winston gets an honorable mention.
Evans is one of the rare players to make the list with three full seasons under his belt before his 25th birthday. His three-year résumé speaks for itself, and in 2016, he not only was the most-targeted WR, he was PFF’s second-highest graded WR in the NFL. Evans’ 2.28 yards per route run were the most for all players under 25 years old.
What stands out here is how young Mike Evans still is. He turns 24 in August, about the same age as some rookies. Which hopefully says some really promising things about his future, and creates the potential for a really, really long career as a Buc. So yay for that.
Marpet is perhaps more interesting. PFF thinks he got much better as a run-blocker in 2016, while I tend to think he had about the same season as he did as a rookie. The Bucs plan to move him to center, though, which is....curious. On the one hand, center is often seen as a lower-value position—but dominant centers can be game-changers, and Marpet has the potential to be that.